Chhavi and I took a short break in Koh Samui, Thailand as soon as her summer vacations started. We stayed at the Royal Muang Samui Villas. We are really thankful to TAT New Delhi and the property for hosting us with such care.
This was my 11th visit to Thailand and the first for Chhavi. We flew in via Singapore this time, so we took the visa on arrival at Koh Samui, it was a breeze! However, we were tired after a long lay off at Changi when we arrived at resort. Norbert, the guest relations manager greeted us and took us around the property. We stayed in the Villa 217 which is right next to the pool!
Our room was beautiful. We had a lot of space both in the bedroom and the bathroom. Chhavi’s favorite place was the bath tub with the Jacuzzi. We had a good sleep on all nights.
In the mornings I could hear birds twittering away right from my room. But during my entire stay I didn’t get up even once early in the morning.
A quirky thing I noticed on the roof was a painting of a lizard, which looked a bit realistic but somehow infinitely cute.
We were at the Royal Muang Samui Villas on May 15th and it was my birthday. The hotel staff surprised me with warm messages and a yummy chocolate cake! I totally loved it. A big thank you to them from my side for making my day special!
We loved the unhurried breakfast we used to have at the resort. We enjoyed the fruits, particularly the dragon fruit. There was plenty to choose from in the buffet. I particularly loved their fresh goat cheese!
My child is a fussy eater. But she enjoyed looking at everything and she even tried out a few new things like grilled fish!
We had two dinners at the Spice Zone Beach Restaurant. Our last dinner was with live music which Chhavi enjoyed a lot! I ate pasta, phad thai and rice while Chhavi would share my dish and eat french fries!
We loved sitting by the beach as the sky turned dark and enjoy our meal at leisure!
The Pool and The Beach
However our hot favorites were the pool and the beach. The kid enjoyed it so much that she was not interested in going anywhere else! As she can swim she could enjoy the deep pool too.
There are two waterfalls around the pool and they were her magnets! There was a cascade near the waterfall and we both would park ourselves there!
Then we would run to the beach. If you like peace and quiet you would prefer Choeng Mon beach more than Chewang. The sea is like a giant pond out here. It is safe and immense fun for kids!
I too love being near water and I did not protest when Chhavi refused to venture beyond the hotel!
The Green Effort
I was truly happy to see glass bottles in our room for water! I hate using small plastic bottles on my travels and I was happy that my stay was not generating any plastic bottles which eventually go in a dump.
We also visited there nursery where they grow their ornamental plants for both their properties. They also grow lemon grass, papaya and fruits and vegetables.
This was fourth foreign trip for Chhavi. She has been to Hong Kong and Prague with me and to the USA with her father. Never once she said she wants to go back to a place. To Koh Samui she told me, “we have to do it two times!” It was so much fun for us!
Thailand is my most visited country, I have been there 11 times as I write this. On all my previous trips, my point of entry was Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok. And if you enter from Bangkok, that is where you get your visa on arrival for Thailand. However, on the most recent trip my daughter, Chhavi and I traveled via Singapore for a vacation at Koh Samui. Getting a visa on arrival at Koh Samui on Indian Passport was a breeze!
Koh Samui is a beautiful, small airport, much different from the regular ones we encounter. It looks more like an open air tropical resort than an airport. As you climb down the stairs of the plane, carts with open sides carry you to the main building.
As there are only a few flights landing at Koh Samui, the lines at the passport control are much shorter than Suvarnabhumi Bangkok. I think a lot of nationalities do not need visa to enter Thailand, so when Chhavi and I came in to passport control area, there was hardly any queue at visa on arrival counters.
There were exactly two families on the visa on arrival counter- us and one more! The other family was waiting for something, so I had all the counters to myself! As I have been to Thailand many times, I know they accept only Thai Baht for the fee. It is 2000 per person at the moment.
I paid the fee for both of us, got the receipt and proceeded to the passport control. There was a short queue, which was nothing compared to what I see in Bangkok. I was offered the express counter for additional payment of 200 Baht per person, but I did not use it. In Bangkok I almost always use the express queue as the wait time is anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.
We stood in the queue for about 10 minutes, got our passports stamped. We ran to the luggage counter to get our bags! Our holiday has started! It was that easy for us to get the visa on arrival at Koh Samui!
I have visited Thailand 9 times by now. I am quite at home in the country. I went back to Thailand in September 2017 with Getaway Goddess to Koh Samui. I did a day trip to Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Samui. While Koh Samui is beautiful in its own right, Koh Nang Yuan is stunning!
I was under the impression that we were visiting Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan but we snorkeled at one spot, which must be in Koh Tao. But we touched land only at Koh Nang Yuan. I am not complaining, I am just stating it as a fact. All the stops were so beautiful, even the jetty at Koh Nang Yuan!
In Thailand, in fact in many other countries too, snorkeling means they will give you the mask, you go and snorkel. If you don’t know how to swim, it is a bit tricky. They do a bit of hand holding for you near the boat if you are a non swimmer. I am lucky I learned swimming when I was in primary school. By now in calm water I snorkel without a life jacket, like at this spot.
The spot was rich in coral and fish. However, I am at that stage where I can tell you I saw pretty things, I have no idea what is what when it comes to marine life.
After snorkeling we boarded the speed boat again and in a short while we reached Koh Nang Yuan. It was our lunch spot too. The jetty and its surrounding were so impressive that I was reluctant to move. After lunch, our guide told us the direction to the view point and the meeting point. We were to meet again after 2 hours. So, that is all the time I had to explore Nang Yuan.
The way to the view point is uphill but well paved. The day I walked up, it was hot. I was sweating within no time. To reach to this spot, the last bit requires a bit of scrambling over boulders. But it was crowded when I went, and people were willing to give you a hand! Speed boats (like mine) come for a day trip and the place gets crowded. However, there is one hotel here and I can only imagine how it will feel once the speed boats are gone!
After getting the customary picture done, I took out the zoom lens. And this is what it yielded. I have been to Thailand so many times, I know there beaches are beautiful but Koh Nang Yuan is the most exotic I have ever been to in Thailand!
Here is how the beach looks from above through a zoom lens. It looked inviting for a dip, I was looking forward to get into the water after the hot climb. Going down was easier! And there was water to get into!
I had the snorkeling mask still with me. I had my GoPro too. They make for a good combination underwater. This was right off the beach at Koh Nang Yuan! But I was almost at the end of my allocated two hours in the paradise!
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) October 30, 2017
I certainly wish to back and explore more of the region. I would like to start at Koh Samui, go to Koh Tao and then to Koh Nang Yuan and then head back home! Let’s see if I can pull it off someday!
Till then I will be happy that I at least caught the glimpse of Koh Nang Yuan! While I certainly expected Koh Samui and the surrounding areas to be beautiful, I did not expect it to be this beautiful!